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Do I want to take on someone else's child at my age?

(14 Posts)
redwiner Sun 13-Sep-09 12:12:38

I am 45 yrs old but often told I don't look it, which I know to be true if I am being honest. I have a 14 yr old daughter and lost my husband last year, but I have recently started seeing someone from work.
He is a totally fantastic man, very understanding of my situation and in fact, it was me who made the move to ask him out for a drink as I knew he wouldn't have dreamed of asking me, thinking it was way too soon. I have been seeing him for about 3 months now, he is 5 years younger than me and has a 7 yr old son whom he has quite often at weekends. He is devoted to his son, which is wonderful, but I have to decide now, if I am to take the relationship to the next level, if I actually want to be a step-parent to a young boy. My daughter is of an age where she is almost 'off my hands' so to speak and I worry that I will resent spending my weekends doing kids-stuff again or going on adventure holidays when I'm pushing 50 in a couple of years.
I really, really like this man so do I let things take their course, see what happens and hope for the best or do I be really tough and say 'actually, I like you but don't want the bother of your child' and risk losing what could be a great relationship?
I don't want to stop seeing him because we get on sooo well together, but I don't want to look back in a few years time thinking 'what the hell am I doing?' Advice please!!!

crokky Sun 13-Sep-09 12:16:04

I don't know the answer, but there are plenty of people of your age who have 7yo children who are biologically theirs - they would have only been 38 when the child was born and that's commonplace.

You have time anyway, things are still quite new at 3 months? Why don't you put the decision off?

ninedragons Sun 13-Sep-09 12:17:58

Take it as it comes. It's not like you have a crushing deadline (eg 39 and desperate for a baby).

Children are healing after a bereavement. It's good to be around someone who quivers with excitement at the sight of a fire engine when life has kicked the shit out of you by widowing you at only 44. If you take it slowly, you may find you get as much out of the relationship with the child as you do with his father.

MrsShrekTheThird Sun 13-Sep-09 12:21:03

Agree wit crokky about the age thing, also that you surely don't have to "decide" now?
My boys are 8 & 6, and are doing mostly stuff that 'Dad' has to do with them anyway, they do football, swimming - where they have to use the male changing rooms and so go with dad wink - so you are not necessarily going to spend your weekends on freezing footie pitches etc, unless you want to!

AllThreeWays Sun 13-Sep-09 12:27:44

There are options
Don't forget:
You don't need to be mum and therefore you can be friends with the little guy(far easier).
He will grow up and move on, time flies
If you end up living with your new fella, the DSS will only be around some of the time, so you will have plenty of couple time (unlike fulltime parents)
You don't necessarily have to end up living together to have a successful long term relationship.
BUT if you really can't do it, then do not as it will end in tears (probably all three of you), early days yet though, enjoy discovering the joy of a new relationship if he is great he will be worth adventure holidays.

hatesponge Sun 13-Sep-09 12:27:55

I think I'd also give it time - you may be pleasantly surprised.

Also 7 isn't so young - my DS2 who is just turned 8 is quite independent, gets himself dressed, can make his own breakfast, and will happily amuse himself for a few hours while I am Mn'ing doing housework grin

I can understand where you're coming from though; my DSs are 11 & 8, I am not sure I would want to get involved with anyone whose DC are pre school age because I am used to not having to watch my DC all the time, and I think I would find it hard work!

redwiner Sun 13-Sep-09 12:32:42

When I said decide, I really meant before I got in too deep feelings -wise. As hard as it would be it might be better to stop now rather than in 6 months or so. Also, you have made me lok at things from the other side, ie - I might actually enjoy it instead of it being a chore as I had been dreading. I have met his son a couple of times as 'someone daddy works with' and my daughter met him when he came round to help me with some heavy things into the loft so that's one major hurdle out of the way but I am not quite sure how to tell my daughter - who obviously still misses her dad terribly - that this man and his son might become a bigger part of her life. What if she really resents me for 'replacing her dad' so soon? It's not as if I went looking for someone else, he was just there and I started seeing him in a new light. I feel I deserve some happiness again but don't want to upset the daughter, then again, should she have the final say in what I do? God, I have such a headache with all these thoughts going round my head. What's the next piece of advice?

AllThreeWays Sun 13-Sep-09 12:41:18

For what it's worth, I have a DD(17) and a DS(5), and have just started seeing a guy with a DS(1). In all honestly I didn't want more kids but he has happily embraced mine and his is a sweetie.
My daughter is very happy for me, and my son likes him a lot. While there may be some issues for you to deal with you do desrved to have a companion, just ensure you daughter sees it as such rather than a father replacement.

purplepeony Sun 13-Sep-09 12:43:19

I think it's great you have found a man who seems decent and likes you too!
I have not been in your situation, but know people who have- they all say that partners' kids don't matter at all if you really care about the man/woman. TBH my marriage is a bit iffy at the moment and if I was to be on my own at any point, a partners' younger kids would not bother me at all if I wanted the man! Might not be ideal, but life's always a compromise, the relationship comes first and you take the whole package.

It would be quite possible for you at 45 to have a 7 yr old of your own, you aren't really old at all!

As someone who has older DCs than you, all I can say is that they are never really off your hands- even in their 20s! My Dcs are at and just left uni- and they take up asmuch emotional energy as ever withtheri needs. Things change- you aren't quite so hands-on, but parenting never ends and I'd ask you to have a really good re-assess as to whether your daughter will not need you as soon as you think now- the worst teenage years may yet be to come !

I think you need to see how it goews and if he's the man for you, his son should be a bonus, and you should try to see the positives of what it could give to your life, not look on it as a burden.

redwiner Sun 13-Sep-09 12:45:54

I think that's it, I need my daughter to realise that while no-one will take her dad's place, It is ok for me to have company and a friend. I really apreciate your responses. It's so easy to get caught up in your own cycle of thoughts, so thanks everyone! x

MrsShrekTheThird Sun 13-Sep-09 12:49:37

I think it would be worth presenting to dd - and not necessarily yet, I hasten to add - as someone who cares for you (and make sure it's clear that you need this companionship) and is not ever going to be a replacement for her dad, obv. At 14 girls are very mature minded and she will be more likely to be happy for you to know that you are not going to be lonely, or indeed dependent on her if that's how her mind might work. Make it clear that she will always have a loving home to come back to, whether from school each day, university at weekends or whatever, or from wherever her life takes her.

MrsShrekTheThird Sun 13-Sep-09 12:50:18

x post... we're saying the same sort of thing anyway wink

Kally Sun 13-Sep-09 12:58:10

I am 52 with a daughter of 11 who is still young but quite independant. My former boyfriend had a little boy of 7 and altho we have put things on hold for a bit, I would consider him part of the whole package of him. The fact that he saw a lot of his little boy and was full time carer for a big part of the time, that just made me feel more positive towards him. His little boy is lovely and the spitting image of him and they had such a cute relationship, it made me love him more. had it come to that, I would have willingly accepted the boy as part of our family, would have been happy to. I was always glad when he brought him alon and enjoyed the time we all shared together.
hmm the fact that things are on hold are to do with me and him, just as he cares about and always asks after my daughter (he saw more of her than I did of his little boy), but I think if you really care deeply for someone, you take whatever comes with that person with open arms.

Maybe you're looking for a different more unattached sort or relationship, which is fine, but how would you feel if he turned round and said something about your 'baggage'. Most of us at this age have some children or offsprings that we are attached to.

LIZS Sun 13-Sep-09 13:05:18

Early days and you have time to take things slowly. Is it that you don't want the occasional responsibility of someone else's child or that you don't want to feel obliged to share your time with dp. If he is prepared to accommodate your dd then it seems only right you are prepared to reciprocate and it may lead you to enjoy things you wouldn't otherwise experience. It is as much a choice for you either way but realistically how many men of the "right" age are likely to be unencumbered by offspring ?

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